Mind Shattering and Soul Stairing

Do you know about the MTGO What’s Happening? page? If not, click through and take a look. I’ll wait.
MTGO players may want to check in on that page from time to time to see what big events are coming, but all Magic players should check in on that extensive column of event results on the right side, each one rich with deck lists. Most of the time, you’re going to see a lot of the same thing (“Hey, more Jund!”), but every so often someone offers up a very interesting deck choice.
The usual caveat applies, of course — for a given Daily event, a deck is listed if it went 3-1 or 4-0, which is solid for FNM, but isn’t PTQ/GP/SCG open/Superstars $5K win territory.
The deck that caught my eye this time around showed up in this daily event. It’s yoav’s take on Junk (that is, B/G/W).
Click through to the extended entry for the deck list and a few comments.


yoav’s GWB Midrange

23 Creatures:
Baneslayer Angel
Knight of the Reliquary
Lotus Cobra
Mycoid Shepherd
Noble Hierarch
Putrid Leech
14 Spells:
Behemoth Sledge
Maelstrom Pulse
Mind Shatter
Path to Exile
Soul Stair Expedition
23 Land:
Forest
Marsh Flats
Plains
Sunpetal Grove
Swamp
Terramorphic Expanse
Verdant Catacombs
15 Sideboard:
Celestial Purge
Duress
Great Sable Stag
Identity Crisis
Path to Exile
Zealous Persecution

I imagine the same thing that caught my eye caught yours just now as well — four Mind Shatter in the main. If this were a transcribed deck list from a paper Magic tournament, I’d be suspicious that we were looking at a transcription error, and the deck actually ran four Mind Rot. Since it’s MTGO, we know that’s not an option, so yoav really did take to the field with quadruple Mind Shatter.
Suddenly I’m flashing back to a Magic event at the San Diego Comic Convention shortly before the restricting of Mind Twist, when I rather dishearteningly took my second Mind Twist of the game. Then lost.
When we combine those Mind Shatters with triple Soul Stair Expedition, we can see that yoav is doing very much what I recommended in Choosing to Fight Fairer. I’m not taking credit here; just noting that he’s using the same approach of trying to increase his N-for-1 count, in this case via Soul Stairs and Mind Shatters. Of course, the overall N-for-1 count is still pretty low. I put it at 10 in the main deck and 5 in the sideboard. Still, the specific solution choices are decent. Mind Shatter levels the card advantage game in the mid- to late-game, and Soul Stair helps you recover from removal and Blightnings.
I’d swap the Shepherds out for Emeria Angels, but otherwise think this is a fascinating take on the GWx Midrange archetype.